“You know that Velvet Underground song ‘Beginning to See the Light?’”
inquires New Pornographers ringmaster A.C. Newman. “There was a spirit behind that song that I was trying to go for on some of the stuff on Twin Cinema
.” Indeed, the charismatic third album from Vancouver’s indie wunderkinds possesses more optimistic hopefulness than 2000’s Mass Romantic
and 2003’s Electric Version
This sanguine new outlook is obliquely referenced in the title. “It’s about going through a change in your life, when you’re still looking at the same things, but now you’re looking at them differently,” Newman explains. “There’s the world you used to see and the world you see now; it’s like a couple of theatres side-by-side.”
Some things haven’t changed, though—like the group’s flexible lineup (which, in addition to twang siren Neko Case, also includes Newman’s long-lost niece Kathryn Calder, contributing vocals and piano) and its somewhat shambolic approach to recording. Newman and the multi-talented John Collins do most of the work before drummer Kurt Dahle adds the backbeat.
“Everybody else just comes and goes,” Newman says. “We’ll just say, ‘Well, we’re here working. Do you want to come in and play some keyboards?’ There’s still this sense that we make records with whomever we can get and with whatever instruments we have lying around.”
To read Paste's review of The New Pornographers' Twin Cinema, click here.